Democratising the EU from Below? Citizenship, Civil Society and the Public Sphere

Author (Person) ,
Publication Date 2013
ISBN 978-1-4094-6413-6
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For the European Union of the 21st century, the search for sustainable prosperity and stability includes the challenge of reconciling democratic ideals and practices with the construction of a European constitutional order. From the 2001 Laeken Summit to the 2009 Lisbon Treaty and beyond EU leaders have repeatedly set out to bring citizens closer to EU governance by making it more democratic and effective yet several national ratification referendums have shown that publics are divided about whether and why to endorse or veto complex EU reform packages imposed from the top down.

Despite these limitations people do effectively engage in the making of a European polity. By initiating national court proceedings active citizens are promoting fundamental European rights in Member States' practices. As party members they contribute to shaping mass media communication about, and national publics' understanding of, European political alternatives. As civil society activists citizens help build social networks for contesting certain EU reforms or advocating others. Last but not least, as voters in national and European elections they choose between competing party visions, and national parliamentary stances regarding the role of democratic citizenship. This contribution to the debate about democratic citizenship vis-à-vis the challenges of economic globalisation and European political integration presents critical explorations of different fields of direct, representative, participatory and deliberative democratic citizenship practices that affect the transformation of Europe.

+ Democratising the EU from below? Citizenship, civil society and the public sphere in making Europe’s order, Ulrike Liebert
+ Still ‘between Eros and civilisation’? Citizens, courts and constructing European citizenship, Tatjana Evas and Ulrike Liebert
+ Disaffected citizens? Why people vote in national referendums about EU treaty reform, Alexander Gattig and Steffen Blings
+ Ignorant gatekeepers against the EU? v national political parties in European political communication, Kathrin Packham
+ Watch-dogs that cannot bite? New national parliamentary control mechanisms under the Lisbon Treaty , Aleksandra Maatsch
+ A panacea for democratic legitimation? Assessing the engagement of civil society with EU treaty reform politics, Petra Guasti
+ Still ‘second order’? Re-examining citizens' voting behaviour in European and national elections 1999- 2009, Alexander Gattig, Ewelina Riekens and Ulrike Liebert

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